E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Gaillardia aristata Pursh
brown-eyed Susan (common gaillardia)
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #87719)

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Distribution of Gaillardia aristata
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Species Information

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Perennial from a slender taproot; stems simple or slightly branched, hairy, 20-70 cm tall.
Basal leaves (if present) entire to coarsely toothed or pinnately cut; stem leaves alternate (or lacking in dwarfed plants), entire to pinnately cut, linear-oblong or the lower oblanceolate, up to 15 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, hairy.
Heads with ray and disk flowers, solitary or few on long stalks; involucres 8-20 mm tall; involucral bracts several, overlapping, loosely hairy and spreading, with long-pointed tips; receptacles with well-developed scales which exceed the achenes; ray flowers yellow, often with purple bases, 6-16, commonly 13, 1-3.5 cm long, tips broad and 3-lobed; disk flowers brownish-purple, rarely yellow, woolly-hairy at the top.
Achenes 3-4 mm long, faintly ribbed, densely hairy; pappus of 6-10 long-pointed, white scales.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry grasslands and shrublands in the lowland, steppe and lower montane zones, also on moist sand bars (lowland zone); common in SC and SE BC, introduced in SW BC (lower Fraser Valley); E to MB and S to CO, UT and N OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Gaillardia aristata

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 250 812 1968
Slope Gradient (%) 0 22 90
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 205 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 5
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(84), ESSF(12), ICH(4), IDF(180), MS(6), PP(154), SBS(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References